Missouri was set to become a right-to-work state on August 28, 2017. However, unions have continued efforts to prevent the implementation of Senate Bill 19 (“SB 19”), Missouri’s right-to-work bill. Article III, Section 52 of the Missouri Constitution allows the public to petition for a referendum to put key issues before Missouri voters on the November 2018 ballot. The president of the Missouri AFL-CIO intends to use a referendum petition to halt SB 19.
Articles About Missouri Labor and Employment Law.
On May 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation generally barring public entities from requiring job-specific union contracts called “project labor agreements” on public construction projects.
On June 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed into law Senate Bill 43, which corrects the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) by bringing it into closer alignment with federal and other states’ anti-discrimination statutes.
With the 2017 legislative session winding down, the Missouri legislature pulled out a big win for employers with several significant changes to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law and the Missouri Human Rights Act.
As St. Louis native Yogi Berra famously remarked, “[i]t is not over until it’s over.” Yogi’s aphorism is certainly true with respect to the St. Louis Minimum Wage Ordinance.
The Missouri legislature has passed a bill that makes sweeping amendments to the Missouri Human Rights Act, including adopting the “motivating factor” standard for employment discrimination claims and excluding individuals from liability, among other things.
On May 9,2017, the Missouri Legislature passed a significant amendment to the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which would bring the Act into closer alignment with federal and other states’ anti-discrimination statutes. All that remains is for Governor Eric Greitens to sign the bill into law.
In a surprise development, on February 28, 2017, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a minimum wage hike by the City of St. Louis. Cooperative Home Care, Inc., et al. v. City of St. Louis, Missouri. On August 28, 2015, St. Louis enacted a local ordinance providing for a four-tiered increase in the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis. Under the ordinance, the hourly minimum wage rate was to increase to $8.25 on October 15, 2015; to $9 on January 1, 2016; to $10 on January 1, 2017; and to $11 on January 1, 2018.
A unanimous Missouri Supreme Court has upheld St. Louis City’s local minimum wage ordinance, reversing a trial court judgment that had enjoined and invalidated the ordinance in 2015. Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, Missouri, No. SC95401 (Mo. Feb. 28, 2017).
Governor Eric Greitens campaigned on promises to sign “right-to-work” law if given the opportunity and the Missouri House of Representatives gave him that opportunity by passing Senate Bill 19 (SB 19) after hours of floor debates on February 2, 2017. Governor Greitens signed SB 19 on February 6, 2017, and the new law becomes effective on August 28, 2017.
On February 6, 2017, Missouri became the 28th state to enact a right-to-work law. The bill, passed by the Show Me State’s Republican-controlled state legislature, was signed into law by newly-elected Governor Eric Greitens. A similar measure was vetoed by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon last year.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, in Durrell v. Tech Electronics, Inc., 4:16-CV-01367 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 15, 2016), held that an at-will employee’s non-compete agreement may not be enforceable where the only form of consideration is the employee’s at-will employment status since an at-will employment relationship cannot constitute consideration.
An employer’s parent corporation that did not “directly act in the interest” of the employer was not a covered employer under the Missouri Human Rights Act liable for harassment and retaliation, a Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled. Diaz v. AutoZoners, LLC, d/b/a AutoZone, et al., No. WD77861 (Mo. Ct. App. Nov. 10, 2015). The Court applied a modified “economic realities” test and reversed the jury verdict and judgment of $1,500,000 in punitive damages against the parent corporation.
In a case of first impression at the appellate level, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri has held that the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Effective October 15, 2015, the minimum wage for employees working in St. Louis will increase to $8.25 per hour from the state minimum of $7.65 per hour pursuant to St. Louis City Ordinance 70078, which was passed on August 28, 2015.